Add some basic aliases to speed up things
Now you’re logged in, it’s time to add some aliases. These are short cut to command sequences. They are good because you will have to type some long commands many times in the next few weeks :). Type
Scroll completely down, ignore all text you see. Add the following rules to the file.
alias free="free -m" alias update="sudo aptitude update" alias install="sudo aptitude install" alias upgrade="sudo aptitude safe-upgrade" alias remove="sudo aptitude remove" alias l2r="sudo /etc/init.d/lighttpd restart"
Save the file and quit nano. Type
Now you reloaded the bashrc file, the commands are working! I’ll explain the first one now, the rest will be explained throughout the tutorial.
Learn how ‘free -m’ works
When you type ‘free’, the command ‘free -m’ will be executed. Do this now
To make things simple, only look at the ‘buffers/cache’ and ‘swap’ lines, which shows something like
-/+ buffers/cache: 28 332 Swap: 511 0 511
This means that there is currently 28 MB memory used, and 332 free. No swap is used. A common mistake is to look at the first line and go out crying that all the available memory has been used. Don’t do this, ignore the first ‘Mem:’ line.
It’s a good thing to check the memory use from time to time, and learn from your servers response to configuration file changes.
Update OS, install essential applications
OK, well, we’re almost done setting up our workspace. We still need to update your system. Ubuntu uses a package manager to make updating easier. To use it, you first need to update the list of available packages
sudo aptitude update
You could also enter ‘update’, since we defined the alias in the bashrc file (scroll up and check it).
Before we actually upgrade your system, you need to define a locale. I recommend you to use a standard English locale. The English language won’t hurt you, and since most documentation is in English, you don’t have to translate menu options etc.
sudo locale-gen en_GB.UTF-8 sudo /usr/sbin/update-locale LANG=en_GB.UTF-8
Now update the system
sudo aptitude safe-upgrade
As the name suggest, the safe-upgrade is safe, though this doesn’t mean that the full-upgrade is unsafe. There’s also a full-upgrade, if you want you can run it after the safe-upgrade. If you are curious about the differences, more info about safe and full-upgrade is in the Ubuntu documentation. You don’t need to do it, so if you don’t want to read the manual, just go on with the guide here.
After upgrading all packages, you’ll need some basic things
sudo aptitude install build-essential
It’s also a good thing to install wget, sooner or later you’ll need it anyways and it’s very small
sudo aptitude install wget